Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Courtney Shultz: Celebrating 20 Years

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

This February, 2014, our Hygienist Courtney Shultz will be celebrating a milestone at our office.  Courtney has been with our office for 20 years.  It is hard for me to believe.  I can still remember Courtney starting with us when our office was across the street from where we are now.  In those days, our office was small, and Courtney and I sometimes had to flip-flop between rooms to accommodate an emergency and keep the schedule on track.  She has always been a team player and a great supporter of my ideals when it comes to running a dental office.  We both firmly believe that the patient’s care and how they are treated by the staff is of utmost importance.

When I hired Courtney, our office was only 4 years old and growing.  It was a time of transition.  At that point, I had been doing the cleanings on all our patients but the need for my time to be concentrated more on restorations and emergencies was making our schedule squeaky tight.  I needed to find someone with the same values and goals as I had when it came to patient care.  Courtney was not the first Hygienist we tried at our office, but from the moment I interviewed her, I wanted her on our team.  You could tell that she was an honest, caring person.  Over the years, we have been through a lot together, but Courtney’s core never changes.  I believe all her co-workers and her patients love her for that.

Sometimes at our office, we hire a person and afterwards find out things that tell me we made the right decision.  Like puzzle pieces that fall together in our office family.  Courtney’s father is Dr. Bones, a much-loved pediatrician on the south-side of the James for many years, and he was my wife’s Doctor when she was a child.  Also, after being here for some time, we discovered that Courtney’s younger brother and my wife went to Trinity School together, and to complete the puzzle, it turned out that I went to Tucker High with Courtney’s sister-in-law!  Things like that sometimes make me feel that stronger forces bring people’s life paths together, and I am so glad that Courtney’s and my paths crossed.

Courtney’s husband Anthony is a great man, active in their church life, and like me, involved in a family owned business.  Like Courtney, he always has a kind word and a smile on his face.  I watched their two beautiful girls grow up before my eyes.  Meredith and Laura are as different as opposite sides of a coin, but both have become wonderful young women.  Meredith is now teaching elementary school in North Carolina, and Laura is currently studying to be a personal trainer.  This stems from both of the girls long ties with competitive swimming in the Richmond area.  Meredith swam all 4 years in college.  I remember when they were young and Courtney saying how she or Anthony had to be at the pool before sunrise for the girls to get their practices in before they went to school and came to work.  I know in some ways they miss those years.

How do you make Courtney smile?  Well, one way is to start singing “Maria” from West Side Story.  That is a inside office joke between her and I.  Years ago, I took the office to see West Side Story at the Landmark, and it all stems from that night.  Another thing that always gets Courtney is quotes from “A Christmas Story” during the holiday season.  She and our assistant Tori can quote scenes from that movie line-for-line.  It always makes me laugh to see how much expression they put into it.

A fun fact about Courtney:  did you know that she called in sick her very first day of work!  It’s true, but since then she has hardly ever missed a day that she has scheduled and is always on call if we need an extra hand with patients.  Courtney, from all of your friends and co-workers over the years, know that you are highly respected and loved.  Christie and I thank you for all the years you have dedicated to our office.  I also want to thank you for being a friend of mine and my family.  To me you will always be one of the people who lifted our office up, kept us going all these years, and helped to make us who we are today.  Congratulations . . . and Thank you.

 

Who Makes You Smile?
Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates
3290 Church Road
Henrico, VA  23233
804-270-3080

 

 

How to Enjoy Preventing Tooth Decay

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Enjoy a sweet treat without the worries of causing tooth decay.  This sweet, effective alternative sweetener is Xylitol.  Xylitol is a natural sweetener that is derived from plant fibers such as fruits, vegetables, birch trees and corn cobs.  Humans consume about 8 to 10 grams daily in our diet, and it is naturally synthesized in the liver, which is essential for the conversion of food to energy.  The beauty of xylitol is that it is non-fermentable by oral bacteria because it consists of a 5-carbon chain, and bacteria need a 6-carbon chain food source to metabolize, cell divide and colonize.  The sweetener xylitol tricks the bacteria into attempting to use it as a food source, but it cannot digest it and use it for energy.  The xylitol also encapsulates the existing bacteria and reduces their stickiness, thus reducing the cavities.

Think about what this means for dentistry.  Studies show that Xylitol effective in reducing oral bacteria and dental decay when using it on a daily therapeutic dose for 6 months, and it has a lasting effect for two years when discontinued.  The recommended exposure protocol for xyletol is five times daily, at a minimum of 1 gram per exposure.  Strive for five!  The exposure time is five minutes, with no rinsing or eating for 15 minutes to allow the oral bacteria to bathe and ingest the xylitol.

Xylitol products vary, so reading labels is important.  For example, if the label on the product lists other natural sugarless sweeteners such as sorbitol (which can still be digested by MS), the xylitol may loose its effectiveness due to the competition with the other sweeteners.  When reading product labels, make sure that xylitol is the first ingredient and that no other sweeteners are listed.

Xylitol addresses 4 areas of concern for dentist:

  1. Reduces Oral Bacteria
  2. Increases saliva flow
  3. Raises the pH of saliva (bacteria need an acidic environment to create decay)
  4. Remineralizes the enamel by helping with the uptake of calcium

Typically xylitol products include chewing gum, mints, candy, toothpaste, and mouthrinses.  Xylitol testing has found the sweetener to be completely safe for all ages, but exceeding 40 grams per day may cause a laxative effect until the body adjusts.  It is important to note that dogs and other pets cannot tolerate Xylitol, and it is recommended that you keep it away from all pets.

 

 
 
 
Who Makes You Smile?
Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates
3290 Church Road
Henrico, VA  23233
804-270-3080

 

Congratulations to Mary vanHarn

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Congratulations to one of our lab techs, Mary vanHarn.  Many of you may remember Mary.  For some time, she worked up at our front desk in the afternoon while she was attempting to get her lab off the ground.  Now her Dental Lab, James River Crown & Bridge has hit the big time.  In the March 2013 issue of Richmond Magazine, Mary’s lab was written up for not only making beautiful teeth, but for the artful Dental Tattoos she has been painting within the porcelain glaze.  Years ago, Mary started doing these little designs for some of our office staff including flowers, hearts, and lady bugs.  Dr. Freeman’s Mother even requested a cute little flower on her molar crown so she could have the proud distinction of having gotten a tattoo (although not the conventional type).  Pick up Richmond Magazine and check out Mary’s work on page 79.  Chances are, if you crown was done by our office in the last 10 years, Mary might have been your porcelain artist.

From Richmond Magazine:

For dental ceramist Mary vanHarn, your teeth are tiny blank canvasses waiting for her artistic touch.  “I’ve helped a lot of people improve their smiles,” she says of the custom paintings she applies to crowns and bridges for $15 to $30.  The owner of James River Crown and Bridge uses a colored glaze to paint butterflies, footballs, flowers and more on the dental work that she makes in her Henrico dental laboratory.

 

Who Makes You Smile?
Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates
3290 Church Road
Henrico, VA  23233
804-270-3080

Prevent Decay With Dental Sealants

Friday, March 1st, 2013

In addition to good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing, there are other ways to prevent tooth decay.  Dental sealants can help protect your children’s teeth by sealing them off from decay causing bacteria.  Made of a liquid plastic, dental sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect tooth enamel from decay causing bacteria and acids.  These sealants fit perfectly into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of teeth, protecting them from 80% of all tooth decay.

While brushing and flossing help to remove food particles and plaque from the smooth surfaces of teeth, toothbrush bristles often cannot reach into teeth’s depressions and grooves.  However, sealants can protect these areas and prevent food and bacteria from building up.  The risk of decay decreases significantly after sealant are applied, and as long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay.  Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and usually last 2 to 7 years before a reapplication is needed.  During your child’s regular dental visits, Dr. Freeman or Dr. Scott will check the condition of sealants and reapply them when necessary.

Decay can begin early in life, so children should receive sealants on permanent molars as soon as they erupt, which is around age 6 for the first molars and age 12 for second molars.  Sealants can protect adult teeth too!  Ask Dr. Freeman and Dr. Scott whether sealants would be beneficial for you teeth.  Dental Insurance usually will pay for sealants on children and teenager’s permanent molars.  If sealant is suggested for other teeth, our front desk can tell you whether or not the cost will be covered, but in most cases, the out of pocket cost of a sealant is less expensive than the co-payment incurred when having a cavity repaired.  Be sure to check with your Dental Insurance Company about your spicific plan, as coverage may vary.

Who Makes You Smile?

Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates

3290 Church Road

Henrico, VA    23233

804.270.3080

 

Where Did Polly Go?

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Next time you visit the offices of Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates, you may notice that something is missing.  “Polly“, the blue and yellow parrot that hung in the corner of our operatories for the last 12 years, has flown the coop.  Polly has been a long loved addition to our office and has been in many rooms over the years.  Recently, it has been in the corner of Room 2 — watching over Dr. Scott and Tori.

Polly belonged to my Grandma, Mary Freeman, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  It hung over her kitchen sink ever since I can remember, and in the early days, the parrot had a red feather in its beak.   As the story goes, my Grandpa George sent the bird to her from the Pacific when he was in the Navy.  I understand this was a very popular souvenir to send back to your loved ones.  Grandpa George was a real sailor, with a tatoo of a hula girl and everything.  Grandma kept Polly in her kitchen until she passed in the year 2000.

After loosing Grandma, my family and I headed up to Pennsylvania for the funeral.  My Uncle, who was in charge of her estate, asked if there was anything I wanted from Grandma’s house.  My wife Christie and I thought about it, and told him that it may have seemed silly but the only thing I wished for was “Polly” the parrot out of the kitchen.  My daughter Olivia, who was 12 years old at the time, came up with the idea to hang the parrot in our bird room at our office.  She said it would be like Grandma was looking down on me working all the time.  After the funeral, Polly came to Virginia and has been here ever since.

Earlier this year, I attended a Continuing Education Course in California.  While out there, I was able to meet up with my youngest cousin, George Flynn.  He has lived and worked in the Hollywood area for 10 years now, and I had not seen him since Grandma’s Funeral.  It was great catching up with him.  While we were reminising, George asked me if I still had the parrot.  I told him I did.  Then he told me that he too had asked our Uncle for “Polly”.  I had never known this.

This Christmas, my family and I took Polly down from her perch and mailed her out to sunny California.  She is now enjoying the warm weather and looking down over my Cousin George.  We will miss Polly in our office, but I have had her for 12 years, and I thought it was only right to let her go to a new home.  Take care of her George, and I’ll see both of you next time I’m out that way.

 

Who Makes You Smile?
Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates
3290 Church Road
Henrico, VA  23233
804-270-3080

 



 

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